Postcards from the Road

Mexico 2011

Important note: Before we commence with today’s blog entry I wanted to remind you that the Early Decision deadline is November 1 (just four days from the posting of this entry). For those of you applying ED to Johns Hopkins or still contemplating that decision, we have some very helpful resources on the Admissions website: The Early Decision Difference at Johns Hopkins.

Now back to your regularly scheduled Hopkins Insider blog post…


Over the past two months my Admissions colleagues and I have scoured the globe meeting prospective students, parents, and guidance counselors in our efforts to recruit the next great class of Johns Hopkins freshmen. Whether a seasoned traveler or a Johns Hopkins rookie recruiter, we all have enjoyed getting to meet and chat with the potential members of the Class of 2016 and beyond. Since we all travel to different parts of the United States and abroad, we each have unique experiences and memories. This entry is a collection of short reflections on the fall 2011 recruitment travel season from myself and my colleagues. Enjoy these “postcards from the road”:

Chloe Rothstein, Assistant Director
Region: Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Mexico.

Just another prospective student

For the past four years I have had the opportunity to attend fairs organized by the American School Foundation (ASF) in Mexico City and sometimes in other cities throughout Mexico. American School Foundation schools are attended by international students, whose families happen to be living in Mexico, and by Mexican students as well. Each year the biggest is at ASF in Mexico City and usually the mascot from the Tecnológico de Monterrey, or Monterrey Institute of Technology in English, makes an appearance. Tec de Monterrey, as locals call it for short, has 33 campuses located in 25 cities throughout the country; however, the main campus is in Monterrey. The Tec’s mascot is a ram or borrego salvaje in Spanish. Last year I had a picture taken with the ram, but this year I was able to get a picture of him (or her?) signing one of our inquiry cards for prospective students! Check it out—it’s pretty funny!

Calvin Wise, Assistant Director
Region: Maryland, Oregon, and Washington

Space Needle

My name is Calvin Wise and this is my inaugural year here at JHU. As my first two months come to a close, I can honestly say I have enjoyed learning the Johns Hopkins culture, meeting great students, and inundating myself with all that Baltimore City has to offer. One of my new and exciting responsibilities for JHU is the travel territory of the Pacific Northwest. From October 12 through the 17, I visited the Seattle/Tacoma area meeting with students. I visited high schools, attended fairs, and conducted my first ever Explore Hopkins program. The food was great, the scenery was gorgeous, and the students possessed a sense of intellectual curiosity that we are looking for at Hopkins. Thank you for a great first impression Pacific Northwest and I’ll see you next time!

Sherryl Fletcher, Senior Associate Director
Region: Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio


Doors Open! Where is this Door?
College admissions travel has been a part of my professional fall season for 29 years and I always look forward to being in some of my favorite places in my former home state of Michigan, as well as Illinois and Ohio! As a Midwesterner, the start of the high school and college football season and the changing of the leaves mean that I have the chance to walk through many doors of high schools. I so enjoy the combination of conversations with high school students, counselors, teachers, and school administrators, along with many parents and Johns Hopkins alumni. Each event, whether it is an evening program, a high school visit, a counselor luncheon or a college fair, provides the introduction to new students who wish to know more about Johns Hopkins, a favorite topic of mine! I leave each program or event with the hopes that all will consider a visit to Baltimore, a tour of our gorgeous campus and conversations with our talented and super friendly students and faculty.

During my fall 2011 visits, I visited a high school in one of my three states (reminder for those with a short attention span: Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio!) and captured a picture of a beautiful door. Post a comment below if you know where this door is located!

Lake Michigan Beach

Lunch with a View
Admissions travel provides opportunities to visit with high school students and college advisors in many settings. Chicago, an area with many great schools, presents the chance to visit schools in urban and suburban settings. The city welcomes all with an ease of traveling from school to school by foot or by car. Students connect with Chicago as well by traveling short or extensive distances to be a part of their high school community. Activities following the close of classes keep students engaged with a commute home in the midst of heavy sidewalk or street traffic. Yet regardless of the time of day or the wind, sun or snow in October, Chicago is one of the friendliest places to meet with students interested in Johns Hopkins!

A day of travel in the Midwest involves including a full day of high school visits with an evening reception or college fair. I try to meet as many students, parents and guidance counselors as a day will allow knowing an evening event for Johns Hopkins will include parents as well. With busy daily schedules, time for lunch is nonexistent. But if you are creative and an apple and yogurt will do, a stop at a Lake Michigan beach will be a perfect break for a light lunch with a stunning view!

John Birney, Associate Director of Admissions
Region: Connecticut and New York

Central Park

Visiting New York City
New York City is sunny and warm…just the way I like it. Rainy weather in the City makes for terrible traffic, and trying to catch a cab is nearly impossible. I’m visiting during the first week of school—and my first visit was at 7:45 on the student’s first day. They didn’t even go to their first class…instead they came to see me! The students were well informed and many had visited the campus, which made my visits go really well. If all my weeks are like this, travel this year will be great.

100K miles
100,000 miles and counting. Yeah, you read that right—100K miles. In all my years of driving my territories, I’ve finally eclipsed the milestone. My favorite part of visiting Connecticut in the fall is the crisp weather and the changing leaves. I’m here after the big fall rains and the rivers are rushing and driving through a historic covered bridge offers a wonderful view. I do hope that all the interesting students I’m seeing decide to apply. If so, it’ll be a banner year!

Shannon Miller, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions
Region: Alaska, California, and Hawaii

Mickey Mouse pretzel

Southern California
This fall, I spent two weeks in Southern California, where I conducted four Explore Hopkins programs, several mini-fairs, and 32 high school visits. My travel stretched from Santa Barbara to San Diego, with stops in Pasadena, Los Angeles, and Irvine. Prior to this year, I read for all of California except for the LA area, so it was great to visit the “new” schools in my territory. On my one free Saturday (we are SUPER busy when on the road!), while my colleague Sarah was sitting in snowy Colorado, I was hanging out in Disneyland. Visiting So Cal = Not a bad deal

Golden Gate Bridge

Northern California
My Northern California swing this year was a quick one. In five days, I did three regional presentations plus high school visits, meeting over 200 students and their families! While this might have been a whirlwind tour, it was definitely a great one. Even though a city bus took the side view mirror off of my rental car (accidents do happen), the sun was always out (not common in San Francisco), and I was able to meet many talented students. I am looking forward to reading applications! Nor Cal Trip = Success.

Sarah Godwin, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions
Region: Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York (Long Island only), North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin

Ready to fly!

I’m back from several weeks of travel and VERY happy to be back in Baltimore. One of my more “exciting” trips this fall was to Colorado. I had a super early flight on Saturday, October 8. How early is early? 5:20 a.m…if you zoom in enough on my boarding pass, you’ll see it! Yes, that would mean a 4:50 a.m. boarding time. Speaking of my boarding pass, banana and water—these are essential items I see a lot during travel season. It is important to stay hydrated and keep electrolyte levels in check. It is easy to get run down.

Independence Pass

When I finally arrived in Colorado, my trek to the fair was a bit treacherous! As you can see, it was mid-October and there was a fair amount of snow. I stopped and snapped this photo, the views were phenomenal, even with the icy roads. Luckily, I made it to the fair that day and saw tons of terrific students on the Western Slope of Colorado. I really intended to take a picture of the fair and the some of the students I saw there, but once I arrived it was a frenzy of activity until the very end.  Thanks for checking in and reading my postcard from the road!

Daniel Creasy, Associate Director of Admissions
Region: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont

Mardi Gras World
New Orleans School of Cooking

My fall travel took me back to New England for the 14th straight year, nine years traveling for Johns Hopkins and five years for a different school. Travel in New England is lovely during the fall and not just because of the foliage, however I have written often about my excursions up north. Instead my tale is about my trip to New Orleans at the end of September.

Each year I attend the NACAC national conference for college admissions counselors, guidance counselors, and other professionals in the field of higher education. This was my 10th conference and what a joy it was to visit New Orleans for the first time. The food, the entertainment, the food, Bourbon Street, the people, the food, and oh yeah the food were all amazing. Yeah, the conference sessions and networking was enjoyable as well. The conference ended with a social event at Mardi Gras World that was enjoyed by all. Next year, the conference is in Denver and I am looking forward to visiting the Mile High City.